Gallup: Tea Party’s top concerns are debt, size of government

Americans who support the Tea Party movement are more likely to see the size of the federal government and the national debt as serious threats to the nation than those who are neutral or opposed to the Tea Party, recent USA Today/Gallup polls released Monday found.

About 30 percent of Americans identified as Tea Party supporters, and their views are roughly in line with those who identify as Republican voters, according to an analysis of polls from March, May and June.

Eight in 10 Tea Party supporters said they thought government was doing too much that should be left to individuals and businesses, while that concern was voiced much more infrequently by other voters. The analysis also found that Tea Party supporters’ attitudes toward unemployment and racial discrimination were indistinguishable from those of the electorate at large.

More than three in five Tea Party supporters said the federal debt was an “extremely serious threat,” while just 29 percent of Tea Party opponents held that view. Forty-nine percent of Tea Party supporters cited the “size and power” of the federal government as a similar threat, while 12 percent of Tea Party opponents felt the same way.

Most of the data was collected from a survey of 2,063 adults during separate periods in May and June. The margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.